"I say: George W. Bush is no conservative, and his unprincipled abandonment of conservatism under the pressure of events is no statesmanship. The Republic would be well served by his defeat this November," begins William Bryk in "The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush," an extraordinary front-page essay in the Aug. 4 New York Press that is currently making the rounds in conservative circles. Bryk, a columnist for the Press, invokes Theodore Roosevelt, William F. Buckley and Lord Acton to argue, "The policies of this administration self-labeled 'conservative' have little to do with the essence of tradition. Rather, they tend to centralize power in the hands of the government under the guise of patriotism. If nothing else, the Bush administration has thrown into question what being a conservative in America actually means." Bryk concludes with the courageous, "For an American conservative, better one lost election than the continued empowerment of cynical men who abuse conservatism through an exercise of power unrestrained by principle through the compromise of conservative beliefs. George W. Bush claims to be conservative. But based upon the unwholesome intrusion into domestic life and personal liberty of his administration and the local governments who imitate it, George W. Bush is no conservative, no friend of limited, constitutional government—and no friend of freedom."
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